Montana State University

Laboratory Occupancy/Vacancy Policy

This policy outlines the requirements and responsibilities associated with the Occupancy/Vacancy of laboratories on the MSU campus. These responsibilities are divided between the laboratory user, Safety & Risk Management (SRM), and Facility Services (OFS). Adherence to these guidelines is necessary to ensure the quality of laboratory facilities on the MSU campus. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Building Supervisor, Principal SRM Investigator, and Department to maintain the quality of the laboratory.

Vacating Laboratory User

  1. When vacating a laboratory all chemical containers must be removed by the vacating group; either taken to the new location or coordinated with SRM Chemical Safety for removal and disposal. Simply leaving chemicals in the room creates a potential risk of regulatory penalty.
  2. All horizontal surfaces where chemicals have been used or stored as well as the fronts and sides of cabinets and under lab benches will be washed by the vacating group with a soap solution followed by a water rinse. This wash/rinse procedure should proceed from the highest areas in the room to the lowest.
  3. The vacating group will provide SRM with a summary of chemical activity that will allow SRM to establish a chemical history for the laboratory. This history will be used in determining what specific chemical indicators, if any, to monitor.
  4. SRM Radiation Safety must be notified prior to any radioactive material movement and use. (994-7317)
  5. The vacating group will notify SRM and OFS that they have cleaned and vacated the laboratory.
  6. The vacating group is not released from the laboratory responsibility until all Radiation and Chemical surveys are below occupational exposure standards, and the laboratory meets cleaning specifications.

NOTE: Failure to clean laboratory, or failure to coordinate vacating laboratory with SRM and OFS may result in the Department being billed for incurred expenses.

Safety & Risk Management

  1. If radioactive material was used in the room, a radiation contamination survey must be performed and the room released by SRM Radiation Safety during vacating process.
  2. SRM Chemical Safety will work with vacating group to dispose of unwanted chemicals and any generated waste.
  3. SRM Chemical Safety will address and correct in cooperation with vacating group, any areas of gross chemical contamination.
  4. SRM will perform contamination surveys for chemicals determined from the chemical history to present potential occupational exposure risks.
  5. If the laboratory is clean and all contamination surveys show below occupational exposure standards the vacating group will be issued a laboratory release.
  6. SRM will notify OFS and the Building Supervisor of laboratory readiness for maintenance and custodial cleaning in preparation for new occupants.

Office of Facilities Services

  1. With submittal of proper work request orders, OFS will aid in lab equipment movement to new location during vacating process. This service must be scheduled prior to need and will be billed to the Department.
  2. With a proper work request from the Building Supervisor, OFS will perform maintenance tasks in laboratories after the laboratory has been released by SRM.
  3. Prior to new occupancy OFS will perform final cleaning and laboratory inspection in coordination with SRM
  4. OFS may change the locks of the laboratory during the transition stage prior to new occupancy to avoid unauthorized occupancy.

NOTE: OFS must be notified of laboratory changes in advance in order to schedule services. Failure to notify OFS in advance may result in increased departmental charges.

New Occupant

  1. New occupants will be allowed access to the laboratory as soon as SRM and OFS have completed exposure monitoring and final maintenance procedures.
  2. It is the Occupant's responsibility to ensure safe and adequate storage of chemicals.
  3. New occupants must provide SRM with a chemical inventory. This information is used for proper Fire Code placarding as well as emergency response.
  4. Laboratory occupants must follow MSU Radiation Safety Procedures, and Chemical Safety Procedures.
  5. New occupants must notify SRM and OFS of unsatisfactory conditions within the laboratory as soon as the condition is identified.
  6. It is the Occupant'\'s responsibility to perform general housekeeping activities within research laboratories. Custodial Services will empty general trash in nonresearch labs only, provided no chemicals are present and no sharp objects are in trash.

NOTE: Failure to adhere to this policy may result in departmental billing by SRM and OFS.